The conspicuous absence of top SACP leaders – including its general secretary Blade Nzimande – at the party’s fundraising gala dinner in Durban on Saturday night, has been interpreted by some within the ANC-led alliance as a calculated political move to embarrass Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe ahead of the ANC’s crucial elective conference in Mangaung in December.
Nzimande is a vocal Jacob Zuma supporter and is being pushed by some of the president’s backers to stand for ANC deputy president in Mangaung.
Motlanthe, meanwhile has the backing by a significant faction within the ANC, particularly its youth and veterans wings, to contest Zuma for the top spot as party president.
Addressing the media on Sunday, Nzimande denied snubbing Motlanthe, saying the reason he did not attend the gala dinner was because he was very tired.
“It was not a snub. I was put off by the officials. I was simply exhausted. The officials felt I must rest. We had many challenges. We always debate whether we should have dinners. People will buy tables and not [come]. The deputy president [Motlanthe] is one of the people who have been to our dinners,” said Nzimande. Read more…